Readers’ Views: September-October 2021

September 21, 2021

Readers’ Views on: Solidarity with Palestinians; Attacks on Democracy; Iranian Revolt; Musicians’ Labor; Damage to Homeless; Covid-19 Killers; Trump and Taliban; Far Right in Portland; Critical Race Theory; Prisoners under Fire; Voices from Behind Bars; Only the Dialectic Can Save Us

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Thoughts From the Outside: Capital is out of control

June 29, 2021

Where I work among the homeless on the street, I see the infinite degradation experienced by those discarded by capitalist society and barely surviving on its margins. There were always those who live on the edge. Karl Marx was describing the lack of transparency in social relations: what appears to be a free decision to sell your labor is nothing of the kind. Yet people stay away from thinking about how all labor, even paid labor, is forced labor.

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Becoming new men

Since my release from the Security Housing Unit, it’s been an uphill battle to win the rights and freedoms that the prison bureaucrats don’t want us to have. Our objective has always been recreating liberation schools, but it’s a challenge even to get our own self-help groups.

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Prisons mismanage COVID-19 crisis

February 7, 2021

A prisoner who got COVID-19 writes about how prisons have reprehensibly mismanaged the COVID-19 crisis, harming prisoners, line staff, their families, and the community at large.

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COVID-19 at San Quentin

Several hundred people, including many family members of prisoners at San Quentin Prison, Calif., demonstrated for the fifth time in the last three months to protest the state’s murder of prisoners by COVID-19.

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Prison Truth

July 14, 2020

Urszula Wislanka reviews the book “Prison Truth: The Story of the San Quentin News” by William J. Drummond. Prisoners’ humanity is not alone their individual transformation or “personal redemption” as a “human interest” story, as shown by the Pelican Bay hunger strikes.

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Free Chanthon Bun! Stop ICE transfers!

Protesters in front of San Quentin prison demanded freedom for Chanthon Bun. Instead of honoring the board’s decision that he was suitable for parole, the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation intends to transfer him to an ICE detention center.

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Voices from the inside out: COVID-19 in prison

May 3, 2020

Depending on the state and their prison system, healthcare inside is marginal during the best of times. Some prisons in Wisconsin are better than in most states, but that care is not consistent throughout Wisconsin’s facilities.

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Prisons = death

April 29, 2020

Report on the #ClemencyCoast2Coast virtual town hall held on April 8, in which former prisoners took the floor to speak about the “death camps” that prisons have turned into in the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand early release.

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No masks to prisoners

Incarcerated people are producing masks to protect people from COVID-19, but the vast majority of them are not receiving these masks for their own use.

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II. The true pandemic war

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part II. The true pandemic war: A. The capitalists’ class war; B. Subjects of revolution fight back; and C. Pandemic class war reveals the social structure.

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Prisoners make COVID-19 Masks but can’t use them

April 13, 2020

Press release from the California Coalition for Women Prisoners reporting on the incarcerated women at the California Institution for Women, who are producing masks to protect people from COVID-19 but report that the vast majority of incarcerated people are not receiving these masks for their own use.

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Thoughts of COVID-19 in prison

April 1, 2020

In prison here in Wisconsin, the guys are not as engaged as people in the community simply because of the nature of where we are. We are still in a relatively sterile environment which would change dramatically if someone comes in from the world and is a carrier. Healthcare inside is marginal during the best of times.

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Free Lyris Wolfe!

March 17, 2020

After almost three years in jail, Lyris Wolfe was finally released. There is video evidence that the offense was an accident.

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Prison slave labor

Federal prisoner slave labor is producing comic books and other materials for the U.S. market. UNICOR corporation pays federal prisoners from 23¢ to $1.15 per hour, often working 15½-hour shifts, with unpaid lunch and dinner times, but no other breaks.

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New pamphlet: Pelican Bay prisoners speak

Oakland meeting: Revolutionary journalism and Prisoner Human Rights Movement

February 11, 2020

Sunday Feb. 16th, 6:30PM 6501 Telegraph, Oakland
We’ll explore the contrast between the practice of revolutionary journalism shaped by freedom as human essence and freedom as a “special privilege” in press freedom under censorship.
Discussion led by: Urszula Wislanka, long-time prisoner-activist, writer/editor for The Fire Inside, publication of California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and journalist for News & Letters.
Faruq, Marxist-Humanist writer-participant in the 2011-2013 hunger strikes at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit.

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Free Sitawa Jamaa

January 21, 2020

It is more important than ever to free Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, one of the four main representatives in the historic 2011-13 hunger strikes initiated in Pelican Bay prison’s Security Housing Unit, after his stroke.

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Free Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa!

November 10, 2019

It is more important than ever to free Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, one of the four main representatives in the historic 2011-13 hunger strikes initiated in Pelican Bay prison’s Security Housing Unit, from prison as in early November 2019 he suffered a stroke.

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Creating homes for ex-prisoners

September 1, 2019

Excerpts from a talk by Terah Lawyer, ex-prisoner and coordinator of the Homecoming Project for Impact Justice that finds private homes for prisoners on probation.

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